Welcome to my brand new series I like to call, Winging It, where you'll join me in the kitchen as I whip up some weird and wonderful dishes...ones that have never been tried or tested by me, or by anyone else...I believe.
This week I made Edamame Hummus with Miso Aubergine. I started thinking about all the lovely accompaniments you'd get with Nasu Dengaku (a Japanese aubergine side dish)...my go-to order would always be miso aubergine, sushi and miso soup so I wanted to bring some sesame, miso, rice and seaweed into the equation somehow. And then hummus came to mind...mostly because fried aubergine and hummus are a match made in heaven. The rest kind of fell into place.
This is a heavenly combination of textures and flavours. I really hope you give it a go. And no pressure, you don't have to make the whole thing. The joy of this recipe is that you don't have to make it all at once. You could use the hummus and have it with veg or put it in a wrap with other bits n bobs, or you could make the miso aubergine and serve it over rice if you don't fancy having them together!
Here's what you'll need to make some miso-y magic...the measurements will also be in the method bit, because it's just too annoying having to scroll up and down while you're cooking to find them out.
125g edamame beans
Half a tin of chickpeas
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp sesame oil
5-6 tbsp good quality tahini
2 tbsp lemon, juice
Salt Ice cold water
1 large aubergine
1 heaped tbsp white miso
1 tbsp honey/agave
1.5 tsp rice wine/white wine vinegar
1 tbsp water
300ml veg oil
RICE PAPER CRACKERS:
2 rice paper sheets, broken into pieces
1 spring onion
1 red chilli
1 tbsp preserved black bean chilli oil
1 sheet nori (seaweed), crumbled
Coriander, roughly chopped
1. Start with your hummus, tis a very good place to start. Place the drained, 1/2 tin drained and rinsed chickpeas and 125g frozen edamame in a small-medium saucepan and pour in a tin and a half of water. Add in 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (to help soften the skins) and bring to the boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
2. Slice your aubergine (widthwise) into 2cm thick slabs. Then very carefully, without slicing all the way through, create a cross-hatch (hassleback both ways) on both sides of the aubergine slice. See below for an example.
3. Once you've scored all your aubergine slices, place them on a tray and sprinkle salt on both sides. Set to one side to let them sweat a bit.
4. Whilst you're waiting for your beans to soften, and your aubergine to sweat, grab a small bowl and mix 1 tbsp white miso, 1 tbsp honey/agave, 1.5 tsp vinegar and water* together. *You'll need just enough water to loosen the mixture to make it pourable/drizzleable.
5. If your chickpeas and beans are nice and soft (almost mushy), drain them and let them cool down a bit.
6. Add 2 cloves of garlic and 2 tbsp lemon juice to a food processor and blitz.
7. When the chickpeas and beans are a bit cooler, add them to the food processor with the lemon and garlic and blend until you get a thick paste. Then add 5 tbsp tahini, 1 tbsp sesame oil, a big pinch of salt and enough ice cold water (probs about 3 tbsp) to loosen the paste and give you a smooth hummus. Taste to see if you'd like to add more lemon, salt or sesame oil. Leave covered, we'll come back to the hummus later.
8.. Grab a large frying pan and heat up a good 250-300ml veg oil over a medium high heat.
9. While it's heating, wash the salt off your aubergine slices and squeeze them really, really hard to remove any excess moisture. They will spit at you when added to the hot oil if they're even a little wet, so use some kitchen roll or a clean tea towel (let's be honest, does anyone have a 'clean' tea towel they trust?) to dab out any moisture.
10. When the oil is nice and hot (you should see bubbles form around the base of a wooden spoon when placed in the oil), add the aubergine slices. If they don't bubble immediately, the oil isn't hot enough, so might be a good idea to turn the heat up a little. Fry them for a couple of minutes on each side until a deep golden brown. Don't be afraid to get them really dark.
11. Remove the aubergine when it's softened and a deep golden colour on both sides, and place on a sieve or rack lined with kitchen roll to drain excess oil.
12. Keep the oil nice and hot then add in your roughly broken up rice paper sheets. They should puff up immediately, leave them for a few seconds then remove and place in the sieve with the aubergine. Carefully pour the hot oil into a heatproof jug. You can reuse it once it's cooled down.
13. Turn the heat down to medium-low then place your aubergine slices back into the frying pan (with no oil) and pour over the miso glaze. Toss the aubergine to make sure each slice gets fully coated in that delicious sauce. Fry for 30 seconds or so, you don't want to burn the sugar in the sauce.
14. Spoon the hummus onto a plate and create a little well around the middle. Add your aubergine into the centre of the hummus and top with all the toppings - fresh coriander and chillis, nori seaweed, chilli oil, spring onions and extra sesame oil.
15. Tuck in using your rice crackers or a knife and fork if you're a monster. I joke, you do your thing - will be tasty however you choose to eat it.
Here's a picture of me when I tried it for the first time. It was emotional. In a good way.
Remember, if you do give this delicious dish a go, please send me pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag me on Instagram at @alwayscook.brightside.